Write Strong Guest Post: Playing Your Way to Fitness – Wii Do It!

by Catherine Schaff-Stump

Text Only LogoAs a kid, I hated PE. I hated the idea of running, jumping jacks, and dodge ball. In fact, if it had anything to do with physical exercise, I could be counted on to dislike it and be bad at it.

Funny how some things could distract me, though.  I loved dancing. I would dance, and still will dance for three or four hours whenever there was an extended event. Dance lessons never seemed like a chore or workout. Key to my fitness pursuit, it seemed, was something that made me feel like I wasn’t in PE class.

In recent years, my thyroid stopped working, and I shot up to around 220 pounds, or around 70 pounds higher than I wanted to weigh. The good news is that I’ve dropped 20 pounds with medication and eating right. Of course, you can’t really lose weight or have a healthy lifestyle if you don’t attempt to incorporate some movement into your life. These days, I work a full-time job and I live in a small town far away from dance class. So my answer for fitness has been to invest in the Wii Fit U.

There are lots of other computer workout programs that are more intense than the Wii Fit. However, if you’re new to exercise, and you’re not sure what you’d like, give this program a try. Masquerading as a series of interesting games, Wii Fit for Wii Fit U lets you play your way to health and fitness. If you are more traditional in regards to working out, you can designate a male or female trainer, and do yoga and strength training, or you can take advantage of the more game like activities for balance, aerobics and dance.

Just to give you an idea of what you can try, in balance, you can jump on a trampoline into space, run an obstacle course, or become balls on a balance tilt board. Aerobics include biking, running, boxing, and scuba diving. Dance includes aerobic, salsa, hula, and hip-hop.  Your Wii world can be populated by little caricatures of celebrities and people you know, so you can run with Albert Einstein, or have Michelle Obama throw you a hula-hoop.

If you have a first generation Wii, you can use the original Wii Fit to get many of these cool features. If you jump up or start with the Wii Fit U, additionally, you have the option of using the Wii Fit U meter. This is like a Fit Bit, but it interfaces with the Wii and helps you undertake altitude and walking challenges. Right now, I’m climbing Mount Fuji and I’m taking a walking tour of Italy. You wear the meter all day and download your points at night. It keeps track of calories burned, and is an excellent way to measure the energy you burn compared to the food you put it.

You could use the Fit Meter without the exercise programs in Wii Fit. While I focus mostly on the meter these days, some time spent on the other games is a great way to wind down at the end of the day.

Whatever exercise you choose, remember that the world is full of movement options. If you’re like me, and you need to pretend that you’re not exercising, the Wii Fit tools might be just what you need.

mit-laptopCatherine Schaff-Stump kept falling into her stories. Early encouragement from family and friends helped her stay interested in writing. She also spent a lot of time reading, alternating classical books with fantastic fiction. An interest in drama only encouraged Catherine’s tendencies toward writing, helping her develop a sense of dialogue, drama, and plot. Catherine always knew she wanted to be a writer and a ____. The ____ changed over the years, from actress, to journalist, to translator, to teacher. Catherine disappeared into academia for 10 years, receiving a doctorate in Second Language Studies and Acquisition, and began her career as a professor at Kirkwood Community College. After she had gained tenure, she decided to return to falling into stories.